Sep 14 2017

Fall After-School Program

Check out the brand new fall 2017 catalog and registration form.

The catalog and registration form are online and are coming home with students this week.

ALL REGISTRATIONS ARE DUE BY Wednesday September 20, 2017.

Classes occur weekly beginning Monday, September 25, 2017. Classes end Friday, December 8.

Visit the After-School Program page for more information.

Sep 12 2017

Need an Auction Chair to Get the Magic Started!

Planning for our annual auction needs to get rolling and while several positions are already filled we are still looking for a leader. This is an amazing opportunity to get involved in our community and have a lot of fun—especially if you co-chair it with a friend. The auction is a big part of the PTSA’s annual income and without it we wouldn’t be able to fund several of the programs that help support our school so we need YOU to say YES.


Please contact Co-PTSA Presidents (and last year’s auction co-chairs) Ginny Woo and Laura Murray at for more info.

Aug 21 2017

Welcome to the New School Year

Hello and Welcome!

It is with great enthusiasm we welcome you to a new school year and invite you to get involved. Our vibrant school community is nurtured and shaped by everyone that walks through its doors; and it continues to thrive because of you, and you saying yes. Continue reading

Aug 21 2017

FAQ for New Pathfinder Families

Welcome to Pathfinder K-8

You have questions, lots of questions . . . Pathfinder PTSA and K-1 Teacher, Genya Scharks, collaborated to prepare this FAQ in the hopes of answering some of your many questions.

When does school start/end?
The first bell rings at 8:50 and the tardy bell rings at 8:55. Kindergarteners may be on the playground starting at 8:35. There is a kindergarten or 1st grade teacher supervising the playground from 8:35-8:50. Please be sure to arrive by 8:50. It is very difficult for children to come in late.

Dismissal is at 3:25. Starting this year (2017), Wednesdays will have an early dismissal at 2:10. Parents may pick up at the classroom. Teachers will then walk children to Blazing Trails and their school bus. Kindergarten students are never left alone. They are always handed off to another adult.

Where do we park?
You may park in the parking lot across from the school or along the right side of the road coming into the school. The parking lot next to the field is used for buses. You may park in the center spots, but the buses travel around the outside circle. The parking lots get packed during the school year; if at all possible, have your child ride the bus.

How do I figure out which bus my child takes? Or, my child would have to walk 5 blocks to the bus stop – how do I make changes with transportation? Do I need to tell them whether my child is taking the bus or not?
The number to Seattle Public Schools Transportation is 206-252-0900. Please call them with any questions. You should receive bus information in the mail shortly before school begins. If you haven’t received information and your child will be taking the bus, give them a call. You should also know that during the first weeks of school, buses can run late, as drivers are getting to know their routes, and have to check off each child as they enter the bus.

How do I set up a school lunch account for my child? How do I apply for free & reduced lunch?
All children receive a lunch account and number. You can ask your child’s teacher or the lunchroom for this number. Teachers will be teaching their account number to any child buying lunch.

You can put money in the account by giving a check to the lunch room. They serve breakfast before school, so this is a great time to do it. You can also give a check to your child’s teacher and they can get it to the lunch room.

You can visit the Nutrition Services for the Seattle School District to put money on your child’s account online, called PayPams.

Free and reduced lunch applications can also be done on the site listed above. The lunchroom and office staff have applications too, and can be really helpful in sorting out mistakes on PayPams accounts. You can contact lunchroom staff person Juan Juan Liu here:

What time is lunch? How long do kindergarteners have for lunch?
Kindergarteners eat lunch with the first graders at 11:15. They go out to lunch recess at 11:35. They can stay in and eat for a while if they are not finished.

How do we find out what dietary restrictions there are for lunches, such as, anaphylactic allergies – and classroom treats?
We do not serve snacks with nuts, but there are no restrictions at lunch. There is a peanut free table for children with allergies. Children are not allowed to share any food to prevent allergic reactions. If there are any other specific restrictions, your child’s teacher will let you know (this is rare). When bringing birthday treats, the teachers will work with the parents of children with allergies to ensure there is an appropriate treat available. You do not need to worry about this.

How does Pathfinder balance classes? Are changes made?
Pathfinder balances classes based on all of the available information including: gender, birthdates, ethnicity, and siblings already at Pathfinder. Changes may be made during the week of Jumpstart. You will find out your child’s permanent placement Thursday or Friday of this week.

What is the attendance line phone number?
Please call the office if your child will not be at school. The number is 206-252-9712.

How do I make a change in how my child will go home?
If you want to change your child’s pick-up plan, contact your child’s teacher before 8:00 am or tell them at drop off/send a note. Teachers do not always have time to check e-mail during the day. If your plans change after this, please call the office before 2:15 and a note will be delivered to the teacher.

How about what to do process-wise if someone else will pick my child up from school? Or the bus? Or how to take a friend’s bus to a play date?
Telling the teacher is the most helpful. You can call the office if school has already begun for the day. To take a friend’s bus for a play date, call 206-252-9710 or stop by the office. They will write a card (it has been known as a yellow card and a green card in the past) for your child so they can get on the bus. This will be delivered to the teacher.

How can we contact other families in our classroom? How can we keep our information confidential?
Teachers will provide a classroom contact list after the first few weeks of school. If you do not want your information to be given to other families, we will not include it. The contact list is only for classroom families. It is great for planning birthday parties and playdates.

How can I help at school?
There are so many ways to help – there is something just for you. This community depends on volunteers of all kinds – Classroom volunteers, office helpers, chaperones, data entry from home, art help, event set up, baking, anything! You will receive more information about volunteering at the end of September. If you aren’t sure what to do but know you’d like to help in a different way, please contact Lashanna Williams, our Volunteer Coordinator, at, or by phone at 206-715-5265 voicemail or text. Look for the Volunteer Form in your First Day Packets.

Will the kindergarteners be coming across 8th graders?
Yes, but they are always wonderful with the younger kids. We do not eat lunch or have recess with the older kids, so we do not have a lot of interaction with them but they will run into each other in the halls.

Where is lost and found kept?
There is a large wooden bin for lost and found in the lunchroom, that is sometimes moved into the front hallway. Please write your child’s first and last name on everything: sweaters, lunch box, and coats. Missing items will find their way back much easier with a name.

What happens during a ‘lockdown’ or a ‘shelter in place’? Will I be notified? Can I come into the school? Why is the school locked?
When a lockdown happens, all doors are locked and children are moved to a nonvisible spot in the room. They remain there quietly until it is safe to go back to normal activity. During a shelter in place all external doors are locked and children remain in the building but go about their day as usual. No one, including parents, is allowed into the school during these times. The school is locked because there is a possible threat in the neighborhood and we want to keep the children safe.

How do we find out about general school information?
The office e-mails out the Hot Sheet and the Compass to share information. If you don’t have e-mail, your teacher will get it to you in paper form. Your teacher will also be sending home newsletters. The school website is and the PTSA website is You can also follow the Pathfinder PTSA on Facebook, at this public page: These are great places for information.

What does the PTSA do?
Pathfinder PTSA focuses on what students and teachers need to be successful in learning and on building a strong and inclusive community for all.

  1. Fundraising: We raise money to support our classrooms and kids. Most of this goal is met during two main events: the Direct Give in the fall and the Annual Auction in the spring. In addition, our winter wreath sales go directly to your child’s classroom to offset the costs of camping and to provide scholarships.
  2. Events: We host several community-building events throughout the year such as the Back-to-School BBQ, Spring Garden Built, Science Fair, and more. Updated calendars of events can be found in the Hot Sheet and Compass, as well as on the school and PTSA Websites.
  3. Advocacy: We are a voice, along with tens of thousands of other PTSA members across Washington and millions across the United States, to advocate for our children’s well-being and to make a difference in improving their education through policies and legislation.

More information about the PTSA will be in your First Day Packet, and can be found here on the PTSA Website.

How do I get added to the Pathfinder Community Communication and Earth Project Facebook groups?
These are both moderated ‘secret’ Facebook groups for Pathfinder community members. You must request admission to the groups. Send an email to Gillian Maguire at to be added to either of these groups. The moderator will add you within a few days.

Also, Pathfinder PTSA has a Facebook page, visible to the public and offering school and PTSA related information:

I have other questions! Where do I go?
Your child’s teacher is a great place to start. The office can often answer questions too – Danielle Otey (, and Maureen Clark (, are our fabulous office staff. You can reach the front office at 206-252-9712. Your classroom coordinator (room parent) is also a great resource. If you have a question, please don’t hesitate to ask. We are all here to help you!

For more answers to your questions, see:

Jul 20 2017

New Bell Times for 2017-18 School Year

image by flickr user alexkerhead under CC licenseSeattle Public Schools has published our new bell times, including early dismissal on Wednesdays.  Check out this link for all the details:

2017-2018 Bell Times


Pathfinder 8:55 a.m. – 3:25 p.m. Wednesday: 8:55 a.m. – 2:10 p.m.



Jun 10 2017

Approved 2017-2018 Budget

The 2017-2018 budget was approved by the PTSA membership at the June 8 General Membership Meeting. You can peruse the approved budget detail and summary on our Budget and Minutes page.

Continue reading

May 09 2017

New Tip Sheet for Parents

Many thanks to Lisa DeBurle, Frog class teacher, for sharing this really useful tip sheet for parents, as part of Pathfinder’s Creative Approach.

Tips we can all practice to help families feel better and strengthen our relationships . . .

Mar 29 2017

Thank you rock stars! You really rocked it!

Our annual PTSA Pathfinder Auction made over $91,000!

This was truly a community effort and a huge thank you goes out to everyone. From our tireless parent volunteers that worked all year to make this one night happen, to our staff for donating their time to host group events, for making space in their day for class art and for letting us take their picture for “an idea” we had to help promote the auction. To our kids for making priceless art that raised over $17,000. To David and Lisa for performances that continue to go above and beyond. To all the Fund-A-Need donors that gave over $12,000 to put toward a new sound system so our kids’ voices can be heard. And last but far from least, to all the rock stars that brought down the house Saturday night.

Each and everyone one of us gives in our own way and together we really rocked it!

Thank you,

Ginny Woo and Laura Murray
2017 Auction Co-Chairs

Nov 03 2016

Join Newly Formed Diversity Task Force

colored-fabricOn the heels of the SEA sponsored Black Lives Matter event on the 19th, we as your PTSA
Board continue to discuss issues of diversity in our school and how best to meet the chal-
lenges of addressing those issues.

The following is a statement from PTA National taken from their Inclusivity and Diversity Policy:

PTAs everywhere must understand and embrace the uniqueness of all individuals, appreciating that each contributes a diversity of views, experiences, cultural heritage/traditions, skills/abilities, values and preferences.

The recognition of diversity within organizations is valuing differences and similarities in people through actions and accountability.

These differences and similarities include age, ethnicity, language and culture, economic status, educational background, gender, geographic location, marital status, mental ability, national origin, organizational position and tenure, parental status, physical ability, political philosophy, race, religion, sexual orientation, and work experience.

Therefore PTAs at every level must:

  • Openly assess beliefs and practices to assure inclusiveness and guard against discrimination;
  • Make every effort to create a PTA board and membership that is inclusive and reflective of its community;
  • Encourage that all PTA activities at the school be planned by a committee which is representative of the population;
  • Foster programs and practices that eliminate bias, prejudice and misunderstanding within their communities;
  • Become acquainted with the leaders of the many diverse groups in the community and collaborate with them to increase parent, family and community involvement;
  • Educate its leaders and members to the needs, cultural beliefs, traditions and family structures of the population they serve; and
  • Propose change wherever discriminatory practices are perceived.

We, your Pathfinder PTSA board are determined to meet these standards through focused work done by a task force that will report back to the board.

Myself and a handful of other interested parents have agreed to be on this task force but would love to have more parents join us so that we can have, represented in the discussion, a balanced informed dialogue that will help us be standard bearers of the above criteria.

Please consider joining us in this important conversation, I would love to hear from you.

Thank you,


(Follow this link to read the entire policy)

Oct 27 2016

Direct Give Raises $22,400!

Thank youThank you for making Pathfinder PTSA’s annual Direct Give such a great success. You certainly embraced our theme of “Getting Out the Give” this year. We had 147 donors – parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and even the kids themselves – who contributed to the campaign.

By raising nearly $23,000, we will be able to deliver on support to our kids and teachers all year long. Kids will be able to go out to the garden with Tara and listen to Roger tell stories at Monday Morning Meeting. Teachers will be supported with funds for professional development, creative approach, and classroom supplies. Community events, like the Science Fair and the Pathfinder Olympics, will go on!

All of this is thanks to you. Pathfinder is fortunate to have such a supportive community. We couldn’t do it without you.